GAO: White House Is Stonewalling Our Inquiries

on February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland.
Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

The White House and the National Security Council are refusing to respond to inquiries from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which is reviewing a number of White House-related matters, GAO General Counsel Thomas Armstrong alleged in a May 9 letter to White House Counsel Don McGahn.

“In response to our requests, White House Counsel and NSC staff have either refused to have any discussion with GAO staff or not responded at all,” Armstrong wrote, calling the lack of cooperation a “clear departure from past practice.”

The letter was released by Democrats on the House Oversight Committee, who are requesting that Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) hold a hearing “on the dramatic decision by the White House to obstruct investigations by our independent investigators at the Government Accountability Office.”

Armstrong, in his letter, asked McGahn to respond to his concerns by May 25. According to the Democrats, the White House has not replied.

The White House press shop did not respond to TPM’s inquiry about the GAO’s claims.

Armstrong’s letter referenced its reviews of the NSC’s role in U.S. efforts abroad, of vacancies at the Inspector General and of the costs of President Trump’s travel.

He told McGahn that “GAO has a history of working with attorneys from your office and the NSC to obtain information needed for our reports.”

The GAO is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works on behalf of Congress to investigate government operations.

Read the GAO letter below:

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